Vice admiral

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Usually the second-highest military rank of admiral in Naval service, the term vice admiral derives from the position commanding the forward, or van, squadron in a fleet action.

In the NATO designation system (STANAG 2116),[1] it is level OF-8, which is equivalent to the ground/air/marine forces rank of lieutenant general. It is pay grade O-9 in the U.S.

In modern militaries, typical command assignments at this level would be an operational fleet or naval comp, a major shore base, or a high level of staff responsibility, such as the director of a national naval staff.


Many countries follow U.S. or British usages. Both wear sleeve insignia of one broad and two full rings. As shoulder or collar insignia, U.S. admirals wear three stars, while the Commonwealth uses a crown, crossed baton & sword and two stars.


  1. NATO codes for grades of military personnel: Agreed English texts, 1992, NATO Standardization Agreement (STANAG) 2116